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Documentary Production and Distribution News
Heather Courtney, Deborah Hoffmann and Pamela Yates Honored
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ), a membership organization of leading women film journalists and critics from across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, has announced the recipients of three special EDA Awards, created to celebrate POV's 25th anniversary. The awards were presented by AWJF president Jennifer Merin and organization member Sarah Voorhes at POV's 26th-season launch party at its headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 6, 2013.
With these EDA Awards, the AWFJ honored the best female-directed films from the curated program MoMA Selects: POV, a 25th Anniversary Retrospective, presented at New York's Museum of Modern Art in February and March of 2013. A jury of five AWFJ members selected the winners.
Heather Courtney, director of Where Soldiers Come From, won the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film; Deborah Hoffmann, director of Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter, was given the EDA Special Award Mention; and Pamela Yates, director of Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, received the EDA Award for Documentary Impact.
The jury included Merin (documentaries.about.com) and Voorhes (NBC-TV, New Mexico), along with Leba Hertz (San Francisco Chronicle), Lisa Kennedy (The Denver Post), and Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today).
"The Alliance of Women Film Journalists is honored to recognize POV's exemplary support of women filmmakers," said Merin. "The winners were selected from a pool of 13 extraordinary films, and represent the superb quality, influence and scope of POV's 25-year history."
"We are so pleased to have these awards coincide with the upcoming launch of our 26th season on PBS," said Cynthia López, co-executive producer, POV. "Jennifer Merin is a tireless supporter of the documentary genre, and we're honored that she and the AWJF jury chose to recognize the outstanding work of POV's female filmmakers." Lopez noted that POV's new season begins Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on PBS with Homegoings by Christine Turner.
Winners of the AWFJ EDA Awards Celebrating POV's 25th Anniversary:
EDA for Best Female-Directed Film:Where Soldiers Come From, directed by Heather Courtney (2011. USA).
From a small, snowy town in northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan, Where Soldiers Come From follows the four-year journey of a close-knit group of childhood friends who join the National Guard after graduating high school. As the young men transform from restless teenagers to soldiers looking for roadside bombs to 23-year-old combat veterans, the film offers an intimate look at the Americans who fight our wars and the families and towns from which they come.
EDA for Special Award Mention: Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter, directed by Deborah Hoffmann (1994. USA).
This life-affirming exploration of family relations, aging and the meaning of memory and love chronicles the progression of a mother's Alzheimer's disease and the evolution of her daughter's response to the illness. Deborah Hoffmann's desire to cure the incurable--to assuage her mother's confusion, forgetfulness and obsessiveness--gradually gives way to an acceptance that proves liberating for both daughter and mother. Nominee, 1995 Academy Award, Best Documentary Feature.
EDA for Documentary Impact: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, directed by Pamela Yates (2012. USA/Guatemala). In a stunning milestone for justice in Guatemala, former dictator Efraín Rios Montt is standing trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his brutal war against the country's Mayan people in the 1980s--and Pamela Yates' 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence in bringing the indictment. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito--a tiny grain of sand--that helped tip the scales of justice.